All eye on UFC 286 Main Event but look down below and you’ll see some great fighters, potential UFC champions from the main card to the UFC fight pass prelims.
UFC 286 card is a showcase for the upcoming United Kingdom UFC talent, couple UK champions following the lead of Leon Edwards.
Laundry list of talented UK born or trains in the United Kingdom to took a close look at down below the main event.
Fighter closest to fighting on this list for title is Scottish born but Las Vegas trains #12th ranked woman’s flyweight Casey O’Neill.
Scottish fighter for MMA standards is a “great” kickboxer, taking advantage of her kickboxing background since her UFC debut in 2021. Knocking out Antonina Shevchenko in the 2nd round, Dominant striking performance against Roxanne Modaferri.
Last fight for O’Neill was against Modaferri Feb 12th 2022 because she torn her ACL, Rough timing for her as she was red hot undefeated with the UFC having big finishes. Hopefully starts where the Scottish queen left off against former flyweight title challenger Jennifer Maia.
“I asked for this fight. I thought it would be a great fight for me. Before I got injured obviously I was going to fight Jessica Eye who was a former title challenger who had fought for the belt. I felt that was a good next step for me so Jennifer Maia was a good opponent,” she said https://cagesidepress.com/2023/03/15/ufc-286-casey-oneill/
Tough step up in competition but O’Neill currently training at top tier gym Xtreme Couture will get her fully prepared for Maia.
Watch O’Neill showoff her kickboxing in the 2nd round, volume striking nonstop till Maia gets overwhelmed. First time fighting in front of live UK audience will be extra boost of adrenaline. Really looking forward to watching her return believe she’ll be challenging for the flyweight title in 2023.
Wales has Joe Calzaghe on the boxing side and Jack Shore on the MMA side. Jack Shore had the nation of Wales supporting him since his IMMAF European Lightweight Champion days to winning Cage Warriors Bantamweight title.
Transferred the Cage Warriors success to the UFC. 5-1 record in the Bantamweight division with two submission wins against tough durable fighters. Step up in competition lost to Ricky Simon.
“I don’t want to blame the loss on the weight cut. That’d be unfair to my opponent, but I felt like I didn’t carry in what I do in the gym into the cage.” Jack Shore said on his UFC 286 media day https://cagesidepress.com/2023/03/15/ufc-286-jack-shore/
Decided to make a change moving up to Featherweight, will make his 145 debut against Finland National Team wrestler Makwan Amirkhani. Challenging Shore’s submission grappling ability, preventing Shore to get any type of grappling advantage.
“We’ve toyed with the idea of [moving to featherweight for 12, 18 months, Shore told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour today, The last four cuts to bantamweight have been really tough. Shore believes his weight issues are detracting from what he can do in the cage.” Jack Shore said on Ariel Helwani interview https://mmasucka.com/2023/03/14/ufc-286-jack-shore-says-featherweight-move-just-makes-sens
Shore isn’t the most athletically gifted fighter in the world, any type of physical tax to the body can really make him suffer in the Octagon. Curious to see how Jack Shore looks at 145 pounds against tough SBG Ireland fighter.
“He’s a really good fighter. Predominantly he’s a really strong grappler, he’s got a good anaconda choke, likes to wrestle but I think I’m a lot stronger in most areas.” Jack Shore answers on bbc.com/news
“I think I’ve got a better fight IQ and I think as good as he is I’ll be able to have the measure of him.” Jack Shore said on bbc. com/ news
Welsh faithful will be cheering on Jack Shore once he steps foot inside the octagon, Roaring loudly if he submits Amirkhani.
Convincing win against Amirkhani watch out for Jack Shore to rise through the ranks in 2023, beginning to touch his potential guys like Michael Bisping & Dan Hardy believes he has.
Dagestan immigrant to England at twelve years old, considered a prodigy excelling in wrestling. England National Champion, Competing in the U23 World Championships. Winning silver and gold medals.
One of the best Amateur MMA fighters ever winning the IMMAF Bantamweight titles in 2018,2019 and 2020.
Six fights into his professional career signed with UFC, 3-0 with UFC defeating Cody Durden, Charles Johnson and Malcom Gordon with strong wrestling performances. The wins earned him #12th flyweight.
Dealt with adversity especially in the Gordon and Charles Johnson fight, grinding out for takedowns or being in danger of being finished. Mokaev would stay resilient showing his flyweight contender potential.
Will continue to prove he’s a future flyweight title contender with defeating Jafel Filho signee off Dana White Contender Series. Before UFC, Filho was one of the best flyweight prospects in the world knocking out Shooto Brasil opponents. The Brazilian fighter is explosive, fast and dangerous striker that can ko Mokaev with right opportunity.
“So, he’s an average fighter. Just aggressive (and) tries to use his power. Not high IQ, but just an aggressive fighter. I would say, explosive,” Mokaev continued. “Skill-wise and fight IQ, I think I’m much better than this guy.” https://www.mmanews.com/news/muhammad-mokaev-brands-ufc-286-opponent-average
All-Around smoother skills can seal the deal against Brazilian flyweight prospect. Smothering Filho with sambo wrestling center of the ring or grappling against the cage, constant grappling pressure definitely can lead to submission win. Impressive win hope earns himself top ten flyweight matchup.
“I’ll be top 10, top nine,” he says. “And then I believe somebody from top five will accept me. I don’t know, if Tim Elliott can be injury free it will be an amazing match-up. ” Mokaev said “
2023 watch out for Muhammad Mokaev #12th ranked flyweight to quickly rise up and challenge for the flyweight title by this year.
Former Cage Warriors Flyweight Champion was UFC signee from Dana White Contender Series when he had a masterful performance against Mitch Raposo. Dana White’s eyes were shining watching Hadley fight.
UFC debut was tough matchup against Allan Nascimento. Jiu-Jitsu beast most of the time controlling Hadley on the ground but escaping dangerous situations. Hadley lost but rolled strongly against tough Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.
“The Nascimento fight came about because nobody would take a fight with me or him, so we kind of got stuck with each other. I knew it was a hard one because he’s one of the best fighters in the division, in my opinion. I’ve taken a few things from the fight, a few mental things as well. I was ever going to lose a fight, I thought that someone would catch me and I wouldn’t be beaten over three rounds.” Jake Hadley said on mirror.co.uk
First UFC win was against Carlos Candelario, Looked excellent from the first minute to the last until he submitted Candelario with triangle choke.
First time in his UFC career fighting in front of England, extra boost of motivation to perform well as he fights tough flyweight competitor Malcom Gordon who put Mokaev in serious trouble. However I don’t believe Hadley will be in trouble in this fight as his kickboxing abilities will be shown.
“It’s been a while since I fought in the UK, I haven’t fought in front of a crowd as well in a while.I’m looking forward to that because you know that’s what I got in the game for you know the crowd and to the feel the energy. I’m looking forward to fight in front of the UK fans.”
“I think anywhere the fight goes I could finish him and do proper good job on him as well, I’ll predict finish. Skills wise he’s a good fighter .”Jake Hadley
“My fight will be entertaining and it’ll be a good performance it’ll be an entertaining fight only way.” Jake Hadley
Watch out for Jake Hadley to breakout in his sophomore season hope to fight top fifteen flyweights only from here if he defeats Gordon.
“I hope you know with a win against Gordon I’ll get a ranked opponent like I said anyone who beats Gordon is ranked .”
Jake Hadley is one of my prospects to watch for 2023, very good all-around flyweight whose entertaining to watch. Difficult matchup for anyone because of his slick striking ability. Accomplish every fighters dream of being a UFC champion.
Christian Leroy Duncan
Highly anticipated UFC debut for Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion Christian Leroy Duncan. Undefeated middleweight fighter with 7-0 record has wins against Will Currie twice and Djati Melan.
Fast for Middleweight moving like a featherweight, filthy striking coming from unexpected angles, first round KO power. Middleweight version of Ciryl Gane. Appreciate watching his Cage Warriors fights as your always in for treat.
UFC 286 matchup against tough Dusko Todorovic who can absorb heavy shots but counter punch effectively. However Christian’s fast movement and overall striking ability will be highlight finish.
“He’s a great fighter overseas at this level now experienced, six fights with UFC record of 3-3 nonetheless a big big threat, he’s been at this level he’s experienced some top guys at this level so I’m expecting a well prepared man.”
“I guarantee there’s going to be explosive fight start to finish and definitely want to watch out for something I appreciate.”
Cross trained at Tiger Muay Thai for this camp, preparing for a tough fighter in his UFC debut. Learning more tools from great coaches while sparring with world class fighters. Hoping there talents rub off on him more.
“I was out there for five weeks at the start of my camp. Great experience out there. ” Christian Leroy Duncan said at UFC 286 media day
UFC Rookie of the Year candidate as he’ll continue to have stunning finishes, UFC needs new middleweight prospects and Christian Leroy Duncan can fill that void right away.
Don’t expect top 15 middleweight ranking for the young lad, slow build up watching a star beyond our very eyes. Dana White and his team doing better job building up fighters into stars instead of killing there careers right away. Expect the same treatment for Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion.